- House and Senate negotiators reach two-year budget deal
- Congress seeks ban on in-flight calls
- Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy site sold to owners of Townhall, HotAir: report
- GM’s Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- China: Poisonous smog is a military asset, if you think about it
- Texas woman admits to sending ricin to Obama
- Ron Paul on son Rand: ‘I think he probably will’ run for president
- Cold War heats up again in the Arctic: Russian airfield reactivated after 20 years
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
- Voters deciding Mass. congressional contest
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Federal Reserve'S Federal Open Market Committee
Compared to the initial weeks of 2012, this week was chock-full of activity from a pickup in corporate earnings, Republican presidential candidate debates, the State of the Union address, economic forecast updates and, of course, the latest economic data. While we get to what all of this means in a bit, it would be remiss of me not to mention that this week the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied to its highest level in more than three years and is up 4.9 percent so far this year. By comparison, the Nasdaq Composite Index is up 8.5 percent while the S&P 500 climbed 5.8 percent on a similar basis as I write this.
The Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee has kept short-term interest rates near zero since late 2008 and has pledged to continue to do so until 2013. But business and household borrowers do not pay the short-term "interbank" rate. Most home loans, for example, are typically paid over the course of 15 or 30 years. Business loans - for new plants and equipment - also typically have longer-term payback periods, often coinciding with asset depreciation schedules.